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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Katie Gallagher

Meet RTE Operation Transformation 2023 group as final leader revealed ahead of show return

An SNA worker born with Achondroplasia has been revealed as the fifth and final Operation Transformation leader ahead of the show’s return tonight.

Marie Clear completes the 2023 Operation Transformation Leader family, following the announcements of the four other leaders from around the country earlier this week.

Marie, 32 lives with her mum Angela in Cashel, Co Tipperary and works part time as an SNA with children living with disability.

Read more: Heart attack survivor and school principal lead Operation Transformation leaders

Marie was born with Achondroplasia and says independence is extremely important to her, as she never wants to allow anything to get in her way.

Fearful that her health and weight is going in the wrong direction, Marie wants the expert guidance to start to make changes to her movement, exercise and nutrition.

A smoker, since she was aged 14, Marie is also hopeful to kick the habit after she watched keenly as 2022 Leader Stefano Sweetman managed to give up cigarettes last season.

She would love the expert support to do the same.

Marie said: “I am looking forward to starting my journey on Operation Transformation 2023 and very thankful for this opportunity.

“It will bring me where I need to be for the future as my independence is very important to me.

“I look forward to meeting so many new people on my journey and showing them if you put your mind to something, everything will fall into place.

“Trust in yourself and you can achieve anything.”

Marie joins her fellow Operation Transformation leaders Thomas Hynes, Andrea Daly, Stephanie Bowden and Lorraine Dempsey as they embark on the health and wellness journey on the RTE show.

Coach Stephanie Bowden, 31, wants to lose weight after having her second child last year.

Stephanie, from Clondalkin, West Dublin, lives with her partner Brian and their children Jack and Aoife.

She said: “I can’t wait to start Operation Transformation because I’m looking forward to the adventure of learning all the skills to improve my overall wellbeing.

“But it’s also an opportunity to experience what I feel life is about, community and connection.”

As a 2023 Operation Transformation Leader, Stephanie wants to bring some sparkle to her life, she wants to believe in herself again, and help inspire others to do the same.

Andrea Daly, 38, lives in Portlaoise, Co Laois with her husband Joe and their three children Alex, Ryan and Masey.

Andrea cared for her late son Dylan who had cerebral palsy and sadly passed away four years ago at the age of 13.

Ahead of her debut on the RTE show Andrea, who is originally from Arklow, Co Wicklow, said Dylan will be with her all the way on her new journey of health and happiness.

She said: “I look forward to getting healthy and being happy in my own body My journey on Operation Transformation.

“I feel this is my year and looking forward to the next eight weeks and seeing what the months and year brings.”

Thomas Hynes, 50, is from Granard, Co Longford and lives with his wife Eileen and their 11-year-old son Harry. Five years ago, Thomas suffered a heart attack. Thankfully following his rehab, he made a full recovery.

Now, in his 50th year, Thomas wants to introduce a sustainable routine into his health and well-being as he moves into the next stage of his life.

He said: “A risk to my heart is a risk to my health and getting a healthy lifestyle is my motivation to becoming an Operation Transformation Leader in 2023.”

Primary school principal Lorraine Dempsey lives in Ferns, Co Wexford with her husband Anthony and their three children, Jack, Patrick and Katie.

Lorraine loves her job and says her staff and pupils inspire her every day. However, with a very busy house and a busy school, Lorraine is juggling a lot.

Exercise and movement played a huge part in Lorraine’s routine in the past.

But in the last two years, family life and work has been her priority.

Turning 43 in January, Lorraine feels it is time to bring her own health and well-being into focus and 2023 is the year for her to do that.

Lorraine wants to feel alive again on the inside and the outside.

She said: “2023 is the year where I'm looking forward to prioritising my health and wellbeing, making time for myself.

“2023 is where I find myself again and enjoy making healthy choices with my family.”

Operation Transformation airs Wednesday 4th January at 21:30 on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player.


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